Saturday, April 04, 2009

Binghamton Shooting Update

William Kates, who did the original article I cited (below) has a bit more:
Police initially said it took 90 minutes to rescue her. On Saturday, Zikuski said it was actually 39 minutes, and he said the police response followed all proper procedures.

"The police did the right thing," he said.
Sounds like a response to the original report, without actually mentioning it.

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Tweetering Disasters

The book will be called...

Binghamton Immigrant Shooting: "safe for officers"????

According to William Kates in an AP article:
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – A gunman barricaded the back door of a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full of immigrants taking a citizenship class Friday, killing 13 people before apparently committing suicide, officials said....

Police said they arrived within two minutes....

Police heard no gunfire after they arrived but waited for about an hour before entering the building to make sure it was safe for officers. They then spent two hours searching the building.
If this is true, several people should be fired, most certainly including whoever made this policy- if indeed it was policy. Early reports are frequently inaccurate, but if true, this is appalling behavior by those whose primary job is supposedly to protect and to serve.

As the saying goes, When seconds count, the police are just minutes away. Or maybe an hour, right outside the door, so they can be sure they are safe. Wouldn't want to rush in to anything which might be dangerous. Maybe bust a pot smoker while they wait. Or a repeat jaywalker. Catch up on the Police Gazette. Fill out some federal diversity forms. Arrest a blogger for taking pictures of them in inaction. Feel sorry for the bleeding victims inside. Work on their quota of parking tickets.

The receptionist, shot in the abdomen, played dead until the shooter was in another room,,then called 911. She showed more guts than the police. Not that it did anyone any good.

Thanks, guys.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Refreshingly different take on Guantanamo

Over at PowerLine.

UPDATE: Oopsie, Missie:
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Miss Universe's blog posting about having fun at Guantanamo Bay has vanished from the pageant's Web site as embarrassed officials try to quash what they call a misunderstanding.


"The water in Guantanamo Bay is soooo beautiful!" she wrote at another point.

Those descriptions did not refer to the detention center for alleged terrorists, which occupies a sliver of the 45-square-mile (116-square-kilometer) base....


...the affair angered some Venezuelans, who said Mendoza had harmed their country's image by speaking positively about Guantanamo, where 240 men remain locked up by the U.S.
Yeah, mustn't say anything non-negative about locking up muderers...when the murderers murdered capitalists and their ilk.

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It's only a committee vote, it's only a...

...comittee vote. It's only...

Byron York in the DCExaminer:
(In) a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the "Pay for Performance Act of 2009," would impose government controls on the pay of all employees -- not just top executives -- of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.

...That includes regular pay, bonuses -- everything -- paid to employees of companies in whom the government has a capital stake, including those that have received funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

...It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds.

In addition, the bill gives Geithner the authority to decide what pay is "unreasonable" or "excessive." And it directs the Treasury Department to come up with a method to evaluate "the performance of the individual executive or employee to whom the payment relates."

The bill passed the Financial Services Committee last week, 38 to 22, on a nearly party-line vote.
Imagine the paperwork for evaluating every employee of a multi-billion dollar company. Imagine the lawsuits by people who have had their contracts retroactively canceled. Imagine the employees leaving in droves.

I like to imagine the next election, except that I think so many people are now net tax recipients rather than tax payers that the Democrats have a permanent lock.

I had a dream the other night: Iran developed a nuclear bomb, and used it on DC. Like the Gazans on September 9th, I ran into the street and cheered.

Sad thing was, it wasn't a nightmare.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Hawaii State Laws on weapons are...


I was working on the garden/compost heap today, using either an extremely small cane-knife (machete) chopper, or a very to chop bougainvillea whips into tomato stakes.

That got me wondering: What are the laws here? Can't assume that just because something is openly sold and readily available that it is actually legal to have or use. So I looked it up. As usual, parts seem unclear and/or self contradicting.
§134-51 Deadly weapons; prohibitions; penalty. (a) Any person, not authorized by law, who carries concealed upon the person's self or within any vehicle used or occupied by the person or who is found armed with any dirk, dagger, blackjack, slug shot, billy, metal knuckles, pistol, or other deadly or dangerous weapon shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and may be immediately arrested without warrant by any sheriff, police officer, or other officer or person. (There is more, but check the link).....
OK: If one is carrying concealed without a permit (and they don't issue permits), then it's a misdemeanor. Ditto in a vehicle, concealed or not, because: "Statute does not require that weapons be "concealed" within the vehicle. 58 H. 514, 572 P.2d 1222."

Case Notes
"Other deadly or dangerous weapon" is limited to instruments whose sole design and purpose is to inflict bodily injury or death. 55 H. 531, 523 P.2d 299.

A "diver's knife" is neither a "dangerous weapon" nor a "dagger". "Deadly and dangerous weapon" is one designed primarily as a weapon or diverted from normal use and prepared for combat. 56 H. 374, 537 P.2d 14.
So what if a diver's knife is diverted from normal use "and" not prepared for combat? What does preparing a big hairy diver's knife for combat consist of?
Cane, butterfly and kitchen knives are not deadly or dangerous weapons. 56 H. 642, 547 P.2d 587.
But butterfly knives are prohibited.
Sheathed sword-cane and wooden knuckles with shark's teeth were "deadly or dangerous weapons". 58 H. 514, 572 P.2d 1222.
They "were"? How about NOW?

"Billy" as used in this section refers to "policeman’s club" or "truncheon"; a club-like implement designed for purpose of striking or killing fish is not a "billy"; section extends only to weapons deadly or dangerous to people. 10 H. App. 404, 876 P.2d 1348. Cited: 10 H. App. 584, 880 P.2d 213.
Years ago, on the Mainland, I was given a used police billy. They make great fish Is a police billy illegal in your fishing boat? How about in your car along with your other fishing gear? So far as I can tell, there is no functional difference whatsoever, and need not be any formal difference, between a police billy and a fish club. They are interchangeable.
A .22 caliber rifle is a "deadly or dangerous weapon." 63 H. 147, 621 P.2d 384.
Apparently this was found to be true in some case despite ""Deadly and dangerous weapon" is one designed primarily as a weapon or diverted from normal use and prepared for combat. 56 H. 374, 537 P.2d 14." So, does this mean any .22 rifle? A target rifle? Or only a .22 assault rifle?
§134-52 Switchblade knives; prohibitions; penalty. (a) Whoever knowingly manufactures, sells, transfers, possesses, or transports in the State any switchblade knife, being any knife having a blade which opens automatically (1) by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or (2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
So, a switchblade, which in normal person's parlance, has a spring in it to open the blade, in lawmakers' lingo is extended to mean any folding knife with a blade hinge loose enough to be opened by flicking the wrist. Suppose the owner never heard of flicking the wrist to do so, but the hinge was loose enough for a practiced fisherman/hiker/picnicker/lineman/sadistic Satan worshiper to do so?

In any case, using my little chopper in the back yard seems to be legal, as is keeping it the garden tool cabinet. Maybe I don't want to walk around the hills and dales with it, but could I if not concealed? It's a heck of a nice little chopper, much more convenient than any other machete I've used. It would make a great general purpose camp knife.

OK. So much for knife and deadly or dangerous weapon laws. More on gun laws later. Maybe.

Just as a teaser for such tho, there is this:

FIREARMS, AMMUNITION AND DANGEROUS WEAPONS Defendant could not claim that state firearms regulations infringed upon rights protected by Second Amendment. 82 H. 143, 920 P.2d 357.
Defendant wasn't even allowed to make the claim?

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"merely a disgruntled former worker"

Did the New York Times spike an October story because "it was a game changer" for Obama?

Well, why on earth wouldn't they? The company is a pimp for liberal Democrats.
A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a “a game changer.”
All the news which is fit to print, so long as it helps Democrats.
During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN’s Washington, D.C. office.
Apparently that is illegal. Allegedly the NYT reaction to that little issue ran something like this:
Or something along those lines.

With a little luck, the Times will soon be bankrupt, and with a little more luck, someone who believes newspapers should report the news and let things fall out as they may, will take over.

Otherwise, good riddance to the New York Times. Once great, now a diseased pimp.

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"Enhanced " Interrogation

Legality and ethics aside, does it work? That is, has it provided meaningful information not obtainable in other ways? Has it stopped any plots against us?

Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a big article saying that it hasn't, at least in the case of Abu Zubaida.

Today Mark Theissen at National Review, attempts a take down.

He has a link to the original article. You can read it and decide for yourself.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nancy Pelosi's Post-Partisanship

The Arizona senator [John McCain] said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "put it best" when she dismissed Republican complaints that they were left out of negotiations over the $787 billion stimulus package, which garnered just three Republican votes in the Senate and none in the House.

"We won, we wrote the bill," he said, quoting the California Democrat. "That applies not just to that bill, but it does to all of the other pieces of legislation, too."
At least she is honest about her lies about bi-partisanship. Now, if The One would just emulate her, publicly.

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Ka'ena Point Natural Area Reserve.

Dan & I trekked out to Ka'ena Point (the Northwestern tip of Oahu) yesterday, going in from the Mokulē'ia (North Shore) side.

After parking in the lot at the end of the paved road, we walked the jeep track to the vehicle barrier, then climbed thru the gate. The jeep track is a pretty ugly walk: while you can stop and look at the mountains, it is so rutted and uneven from off-road vehicles that you better stop while looking, or risk a fall and a turned ankle. Much of this portion of the track has brush high enough on the ocean side to cover that view. Still, there are more than glimpses, and it is pretty nice in spots.

It was too windy to be hot, which this walk can be in spades. I lost my hat a few times, and twice my glasses with it, but no damage done.

Plenty of people had driven in and parked near the shore, putting up tents and sun shades, set up several fishing poles, and seemed to be having a fine time.

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Once thru the barrier we were on a proper hiking trail, mostly sand and basically flat, with a view of the shore. There are steel wires on metal stakes to keep people on the trail, away from the endangered plants and the nesting Laysan Albatrosses. There are also Shearwaters nesting there, tho we didn't notice any. We also saw several box traps, which I suspect are for mongoose, a major predator of ground nesting birds like the Albatross and Nene goose.

Albatross family:

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Dan with the same family:

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Dan spotted some whales going by. At first they seemed to be swimming in a circle, but finally made up their minds and headed east.

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There were also a couple of monk seals hanging out on the rocks. They are endangered, and one is not supposed to get withing 50 feet or so of them. Yesterday people seemed to be respecting that restriction, tho we have in the past seen people getting within prodding - and biting- distance. Bad idea, especially if there is a pup about.

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Here is some naupaka, which is an endangered beach plant. Very little remains anywhere in the islands, and it was apparently pretty torn up at Kaena point by off road vehicles until the state turned it into a reserve and put up the barrier.

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Also Dan, surrounded by naupaka while we were watching the whales and seals. The trail goes thru a lot of naupaka- we weren't in a prohibited area.

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A couple guys had some success fishing with throw nets. Here they are heading off with their nets around them.

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On the way out we passed a group of about 10 Laysan Albatrosses. I shot a bunch of pictures of one in flight, but they were all pretty blurry. Here is one settling his wings.

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All in all, it was tiring, but a nice hike.

Here is a link to a useful state DLNR brochure about the reserve, plants, and animals to see there.

This is also a useful DLNR site.

I found the first dozen or so responses to a Google search for 'kaena point trail' remarkably uninformative: One said it is "fairly long," another that it is 1.7 miles from the parking area to the point, another that it is two miles, another 2.5 miles, and another 3 miles. One said "BE PREPARED FOR CRIMINALS" and "Nothing happened to our group or vehicles, but there was "evidence" of criminal activity in this remote area which can be unsettling for some..." So, what KIND of criminals? Litterbugs? Rapists? Pot smokers? What was the evidence? Empty solvent drums? Smashed windows and cleaned out cars? Hikers' bloating corpses?

And just how should one prepare for criminals in a state which requires a permit to carry a pistol, but which also refuses to issue permits? Carry a litter bag?

UPDATE: For another take on the hike, here is Dan's post at

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